Third day: Tower Bridge and British Museum

Trip Start Jan 05, 2010
Trip End Jan 27, 2010

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Flag of United Kingdom  , England,
Saturday, January 9, 2010

           Today we had class at 10AM. Since we weren't able to find a conference room to meet in, we had to improvise and have class in one of our professor’s hotel rooms. It was a bit cozy, but it worked. After a couple hours of class we were free for the day and a group of us decided to go to the London Eye. We read in one of our guide books that the Eye was closed Jan 11-20, so today would probably be our last day to ride it. We ride the underground out there (it wasn’t too far) and when we arrived we were told that the Eye was closed and that it wouldn’t open again until the end of January L I suppose I will have to return some other time and give it a go, because it looks like a really cool experience! I got some cool pictures out of it at least.

            We then decided to go see the London Bridge (I couldn’t get the childhood song about the bridge out of my head, haha). When we arrived, we stood on a bridge and took pictures of a bridge in the distance that we believed was the London Bridge, but we found out later that we were actually looking at the Tower Bridge and we were standing on the London Bridge. As it turns out, the Tower Bridge is much cooler looking than the London Bridge.

            After we were able to get some fun pictures of the Tower Bridge, I decided to split from the group and took a trip to the British Museum. I read that it was near our hotel, and I had seen an advertisement on the underground about an exhibit that they were holding about the life of the Aztecan leader, Moctezuma. He was the last elected ruler of the Aztecs before the Spanish took control. The exhibit was fascinating to me because it covered a lot of what I will be learning while I go abroad in Oaxaca for the semester. There was a model of the Templo Mayor in the exhibit, which is one of the sites that we will be visiting while in Oaxaca. Templo Mayor is Spanish for "Great Temple." It is located on a spot where, according to Mexican myth, an eagle was seen perched on a cactus. Templo Mayor was the principle ritual setting for the people of the city (Tenochtitlan). Here they marked the seasonal cycle of religious festivals, the investiture of kings, victory celebrations, and the funeral rights of lords and leaders.

            Another amazing artifact that I was able to see at the British Museum was the Rosetta Stone!! I learned about the stone for the first time in 6th grade, and ever since I have wanted to see it in person, up close. It is actually much much bigger than I thought it was. The Rosetta Stone carries an inscription in different languages which helped decipher the ancient Egyptian hieroglyphic script. It is the only surviving fragment of a larger stone slab (stela) recording a decree on 27 March, 196 B.C. At the top the decree was written in hieroglyphs, the traditional script of Egyptian monuments, already 3000 years old. In the middle the same decree was written in Demotic, the everyday script of literate Egyptians, and at the bottom in Greek, the language used by the government.

            Tomorrow we are leaving the hotel at 9AM to see another museum as a class, then we have Monday as a free day. I think I am going to visit Madame Tussauds Wax museum!
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Mindy on

Sam - what great entries and pictures! Oh my gosh you must be enjoying the experience so much! Stay safe and take it all in!!

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